Nucleation of jet engine oil vapours is a large source of aviation-related ultrafine particles

  • Large airports are a major source of ultrafine particles, which spread across densely populated residential areas, affecting air quality and human health. Jet engine lubrication oils are detectable in aviation-related ultrafine particles, however, their role in particle formation and growth remains unclear. Here we show the volatility and new-particle-formation ability of a common synthetic jet oil, and the quantified oil fraction in ambient ultrafine particles downwind of Frankfurt International Airport, Germany. We find that the oil mass fraction is largest in the smallest particles (10-18 nm) with 21% on average. Combining ambient particle-phase concentration and volatility of the jet oil compounds, we determine a lower-limit saturation ratio larger than 1 × 105 for ultra-low volatility organic compounds. This indicates that the oil is an efficient nucleation agent. Our results demonstrate that jet oil nucleation is an important mechanism that can explain the abundant observations of high number concentrations of non-refractory ultrafine particles near airports.

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Author:Florian UngeheuerORCiDGND, Lucía Caudillo, Florian DitasORCiDGND, Mario SimonORCiD, Dominik van PinxterenGND, Doğuşhan KılıçGND, Diana RoseGND, Stefan Jacobi, Christoph Andreas KürtenORCiDGND, Joachim CurtiusORCiD, Alexander L. VogelORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Communications Earth & Environment
Publisher:Springer Nature
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2022/12/21
Date of first Publication:2022/12/21
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2023/08/02
Page Number:8
Institutes:Geowissenschaften / Geographie / Geowissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 54 Chemie / 540 Chemie und zugeordnete Wissenschaften
6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 62 Ingenieurwissenschaften / 624 Ingenieurbau
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0